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Relationship Couples Therapy In West Hollywood & Los Angeles

As a marriage counselor, I enjoy helping people understand and improve their relationship issues by offering effective relationship counseling sessions in my office in Los Angeles, on Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood or online. Marriage counseling helps people initially by providing emotional support to couples facing relationship difficulties. 

Marriage & Family Therapist For Relationships: West Hollywood.

Couples counseling can be an invaluable tool in turning a relationship around when it feels stuck, going in a downward spiral or if you think it's reaching a breaking point.

Effective communication skills and intimacy techniques can be an effective way to shift dynamics in a long-term relationship but it's sometimes more important to dig deeper into the root of the problems. That is where my extensive experience and training in Family Systems and Psychoanalytic Theory is helpful, as I'm able to relate current problems with historical wounds, or find patterns and loops in behaviors that we need to shift. Effective couples therapy should provide a deeper understanding of the causes of any conflict or intimacy issues, as well as different ways of addressing them. 

 

As a licensed marriage and family therapist, I have a holistic approach to working with couples and intimate relationships.  I have experience with various treatment modalities, including Imago Method, Gottman and Emotionally Focused Therapy. These highly effective techniques can deepen your connection and help you resolve conflict respectfully and productively. Primarily though, I look at reciprocal relationship patterns and how to shift them if they are not helpful. 

  • The more you ____ the less they.____

  • I do all the cleaning .... and they just create mess___

  • I always initiate sex.... they never seem to be interested.

 

Blame has no place in our couple's therapy in my opinion! A family systems background informs my therapeutic process, and I will help you understand each other, your patterns of interaction and new ways of connecting instead of these automatic behavioral loops.  

 

Couples counselors such as my self, will work to create a safe environment with you both, to move towards finding practical solutions that make you feel closer to each other.

 

I aim to provide valuable insight into why your partner behaves or reacts the way they do to improve your relationship dynamics. As the dynamics change, you will see your relationship through new eyes and regain physical and emotional intimacy.

 

Attending therapy works best in the early conflict stages, but it’s never too late to start. Our experienced couples therapist can help you strengthen and rebuild your relationship, no matter what stage.

Issues I address:

Depression

Anxiety

Trauma

Anger Management

Life Transitions

Sexual Concerns

Marriage and Family Problems

Intimacy Issues

Relationship Problems

Parenting Problems

Communication Problems

Substance Abuse 

Grief and Bereavement

Life Changes and Life Cycle Challenges

Sexual Identity Issues

Life Changes

Self esteem issues

Sexual Desires

Family Conflict

 

How Couples Therapy & Communication Go Hand In Hand

Communication is the foundation of any healthy relationship. It is how we express our needs, desires, and feelings to our partner. However, many couples struggle with effective communication, leading to misunderstandings, arguments, and feelings of resentment.

Couples therapy is designed to help couples improve their communication skills and build a stronger, more satisfying relationship. In therapy, couples learn how to express themselves clearly, listen actively, and resolve conflicts in a healthy and productive manner.

 

What are some common issues that couples experience in communication?

At West Hollywood Couples Therapy, we see couples and families with all kinds of communication impairments and truly believe that communication can greatly improve all kinds of relationship difficulties.

  1.  Poor listening skills: One of the most common problems couples face in communication is not listening actively to each other. Instead of truly hearing what their partner is saying, they may be more focused on formulating their response or jumping to conclusions. This can lead to misunderstandings and frustration.

  2.  Lack of empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. Sometimes, couples struggle with empathizing with their partner's perspective. They may prioritize their own needs and opinions, dismissing or invalidating their partner's emotions. This can create a sense of distance and resentment.

  3.  Criticism and defensiveness: Couples may fall into a pattern of criticizing each other's thoughts, feelings, or actions. This can quickly escalate into defensiveness, where both partners become closed off and protective. When criticism and defensiveness dominate the conversation, it becomes challenging to have open and honest communication.

  4.  Unrealistic expectations: When couples have unrealistic expectations about communication, disappointment can arise. They may expect their partner to always understand their thoughts and feelings without having to express them explicitly. Unrealistic expectations can lead to frustration as partners struggle to meet each other's unspoken needs.

  5.  Avoidance of difficult topics: Some couples may find it challenging to discuss difficult or sensitive topics.

How can couples work together to improve their communication?

Effective communication is the cornerstone of a healthy and thriving relationship. It allows couples to understand each other's needs, resolve conflicts, and build a strong foundation of trust and intimacy. However, communication skills do not always come naturally and talking about our feelings is sometimes particularly challenging. It takes effort, patience, and a willingness to work together. Here are some ways couples can improve their communication:

  1.  Active Listening: Listening attentively and actively is crucial for effective communication, doing this regularly exercises your empathy muscles as you focus on what's being said. Pay attention to your partner's words, body language, and emotions, make eye contact, mirroring their feelings. Reflect back on what they have said to ensure understanding and show that you value their perspective.

  2.  Practice Empathy: Trying to understand your partner's feelings and point of view is a powerful gift you can give your partner. Empathy helps create a safe and supportive environment where both partners can express themselves and feel understood.

  3.  Use "I" Statements: Instead of using accusatory or blaming language, use "I" statements to express your thoughts and feelings. For example, say "I feel hurt when..." instead of "You always..." This approach helps to avoid defensiveness and encourages open dialogue, it's essential in building a non-reactive environment.

  4.  Be Mindful of Non-Verbal Cues: Communication involves more than just words. Pay attention to non-verbal cues such as facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language. These can convey emotions that words might not express.

  5.  Practice Assertiveness: Expressing your needs, wants, and boundaries is essential for healthy communication. Be clear, direct, and respectful when communicating your desires and expectations.

  6.  Avoid Assumptions: Instead of assuming your partner's thoughts or feelings, ask for clarification. Avoid assuming that they know what you need or want. Instead, communicate openly and expectations and desires.

  7.  Make Time for Regular Check-Ins: Set aside dedicated time to check in with each other and discuss any concerns or issues that may have arisen. We recommend regularly meeting and expressing gratitude as part of the ritual you have. Look at our Relationship Check-In Check List for more on this. Regular communication can help prevent misunderstandings from festering into bigger problems.

  8.  Seek Professional Help if Needed: If communication issues persist or become too challenging to resolve on your own, don't hesitate to seek the help of a couples therapist or relationship counselor. They can provide guidance, tools, and strategies to improve communication and strengthen your relationship.

  9.  Practice Patience and Understanding: Effective communication takes time and practice. Be patient with each other and understand that it may take some time to develop better communication skills. Celebrate small victories and acknowledge the effort put into improving communication.

  10.  Cultivate a Culture of Openness and Honesty: Foster an environment where honesty and openness are valued. Encourage each other to express their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or criticism. Creating a safe space for communication can greatly improve the quality of your relationship.

What Questions Do Therapists Ask About Couples Communication?

Communication is often cited as the lifeblood of any relationship. The way partners exchange thoughts, ideas, and feelings can greatly influence their relationship's health and longevity. When communication lines are clear, couples often experience greater understanding, harmony, and connection. Conversely, misunderstandings, trips and miscommunications can lead to unnecessary conflicts and strain.

One crucial aspect of couples therapy is addressing communication dynamics. Therapists often ask certain questions to help couples understand how they communicate and where they might improve. Today, we're delving into some common "couples communication questions" therapists ask and why they're so essential.

1. Do You Always Understand Your Partner's Meaning?

Interpreting your partner's words and intentions is a key aspect of communication. A therapist might ask, "Do you always know what your partner means when they say or tell you something?" This question helps assess whether a couple communicates directly or if there's room for misinterpretation. Direct communication tends to be more efficient and less likely to lead to misunderstandings, promoting healthier relationships.

2. Does Misinterpretation Sometimes Occur?

Another typical "couples communication question" a therapist might ask is, "Does your partner sometimes take the things you say the wrong way?" Misinterpretations can create unnecessary conflict, and addressing this can help couples communicate more effectively.

3. Do You Hear About Issues Indirectly?

In some cases, a person might hear about their partner's issues with them from others or indirectly. A therapist may ask, "When your partner has a problem with you, do you sometimes hear about it from other people or indirectly?" If this is the case, it could indicate communication barriers that need to be addressed.

4. Is Your Partner Available for Important Conversations?

The availability of partners to engage in meaningful conversations about their relationship is a vital aspect of communication. A therapist might ask, "How available is your partner to talk about things that are important to you and your relationship, and that couple either physically, or emotionally?" The answer can provide insight into a couple's ability to engage in deep conversations and whether there might be barriers to this type of communication.

Does couples counseling work?

In short, yes!  The Mental Health Care profession has been studying positive changes in couples and their personal growth in therapy for decades. The success rate in a study is not a guarantee, but there is hope in this data for couples who are struggling, and there might be better ways of connecting and relating to learn.

 

This comprehensive study protocol addresses a crucial question: Can couple counseling truly make a difference in relationships? The existing research, though limited, paints an optimistic picture. It suggests that couples who engage in counseling often see a notable improvement in their relationship satisfaction. This isn't just a fleeting change; the benefits appear to extend over both the short and long term. The study underscores the potential of couple counseling to mend and strengthen relationships, highlighting the need for a little help in some more in-depth research to solidify these promising findings.

 

This study is a beacon of hope for couples facing relationship challenges. It reveals that couple's therapy sessions has shown significant effectiveness in boosting relationship satisfaction. Most couples who undergo therapy report a positive change, especially in the short term. This research isn't just about numbers and data; it's a testament to the evolving and improving methods in couple therapy. As we move through the 2020s, the field is witnessing emerging developments that promise even more effective and tailored effective ways to heal relationships. This study is a strong argument in favor of couple therapy as a tool for nurturing and salvaging romantic bonds.

 

This study brings a refreshing perspective by examining couple therapy in real-life settings in the United Kingdom. Moving away from the controlled environments of clinical trials, it explores how couple therapy fares in the complexity of everyday life. The findings are heartening: couples in these settings often experience meaningful improvements in their relationships. This study is a compelling argument that couple therapy isn't just a theoretical concept confined to research papers; it's a practical, effective tool that can bring about real change in couples' lives. It's a strong endorsement for couples considering therapy as a way to mend and enrich their relationships.

 

Please schedule a call for an initial consultation to see if you think I might be able to help you. I offer in-person therapy in my West Hollywood Office and offer online therapy sessions too.

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